3i Invests in Brazilian Eyewear Retailer

A consortium led by 3i Group has agreed to acquire Óticas Carol, a Brazilian eyewear retailer from Brazilian entrepreneur Marcos Amaro. As part of the transaction, OC CEO Ronaldo Pereira will significantly increase his equity stake in the company. Institutional investors Neuberger Berman and Siguler Guff are co-investing alongside 3i in the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of March. The combined equity investment amounts to R$108 million (£36.4 million).

PRESS RELEASE

A consortium led by 3i Group plc (“3i” or “3i Group”), an international investor, has agreed to acquire Óticas Carol (“OC”), the second largest eyewear retailer in Brazil, from Brazilian entrepreneur Marcos Amaro. As part of the transaction, OC CEO Ronaldo Pereira will significantly increase his equity stake in the company. Institutional investors Neuberger Berman and Siguler Guff are co-investing alongside 3i in the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of March. The combined equity investment amounts to R$108 million (£36.4m).
Established in 1997, OC sells a broad range of prescription glasses, sunglasses and related eyewear accessories. The OC retail network is comprised of 490 stores across19 states in 235 cities, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The OC franchising model has successfully attracted optical retailers thanks to the strength of its brand, its strong relationships with suppliers and its dedicated laboratory offering which provides access to an exclusive range of high-quality, own-label lenses.
The highly fragmented eyewear market in Brazil grew at a 15% CAGR between 2006 and 2012. The market is expected to continue growing significantly above GDP in the coming years thanks to strong domestic demand fuelled by increasing levels of income per capita, low unemployment, an ageing population, more people wearing prescription glasses and the increased use of eyewear as a fashion statement.
3i’s investment will support the OC management team’s plan to expand its store network throughout Brazil. In addition, 3i will work closely with management as an active partner, providing retail sector expertise and international best practice in strategy, operations and governance.
Simon Borrows, Chief Executive of 3i Group commented: “We continue to see attractive investment opportunities in Brazil and are delighted to be making our second Brazilian investment in a strong business like Óticas Carol alongside Neuberger Berman and Siguler Guff, our two co-investors.”
Marcelo Di Lorenzo, Partner, Managing Director and Head of 3i Brazil said: “Óticas Carol is uniquely positioned in the Brazilian eyewear market. Its differentiated business model will enable the company to expand rapidly across the country. We look forward to working with the management team to continue the company’s growth strategy in the coming years.”